My Bouillabaisse with US ingredients

Bouil­l­abaisse is a very pop­u­lar provençal fish stew from the port city of Mar­seille. I real­ly want­ed to make one in the US, but being so far away from the Mediter­ranean, I could not find the Mediter­ranean fish tra­di­tion­al­ly used in Bouil­l­abaisse, so I had to be cre­ative. I came up with my own recipe, made with the fish and seafood I could find local­ly, while still keep­ing the provençal fla­vors. I sim­pli­fied the tra­di­tion­al recipe so as to have an easy recipe that any­one could make. The result is an easy and deli­cious fish stew that smells so good, it will make you feel like you are in Provence!

bouillabaisse

A few notes about my recipe choices

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, the Bouil­l­abaisse con­tains three dif­fer­ent kinds of fish. Usu­al­ly, the Mediter­ranean ras­casse, the sea robin, and the Euro­pean con­ger. Pos­si­ble US sub­sti­tutes are monk­fish, red snap­per, and hal­ibut. Oth­er pos­si­ble choic­es in the US are tur­bot, striped bass, por­gy, grouper and/or cod. I rec­om­mend you get the fresh­est local fish you can find, and get three dif­fer­ent kinds.

Usu­al­ly, toma­toes, car­rots, leeks, pota­toes, and fen­nel accom­pa­ny the fish. Per­son­al­ly, I like toma­toes the best so I decid­ed to make my soup with toma­toes only. But feel free to add the oth­er veg­eta­bles if you’d like.

Saf­fron is an essen­tial fla­vor that absolute­ly needs to be part of the soup. I was able to find red saf­fron in fil­a­ments at my local inter­na­tion­al gro­cery store. Oth­er­wise, you can find it online.

An oth­er impor­tant part of the soup is to bring it to a boil (bouil­lir in French), and then quick­ly low­er the heat (baisse in French), hence the name bouil­la-baisse. So I tried to incor­po­rate that tech­nique in my recipe.

I cooked my bouil­l­abaisse in a dutch oven (cocotte). How­ev­er, you do not nec­es­sar­i­ly need one, as long as you have a big enough pot with a lid.

Recipe

Print Recipe
Easy Bouil­l­abaisse with US ingre­di­ents
bouillabaisse
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 min­utes
Cook Time 45 min­utes
Serv­ings
peo­ple
Ingre­di­ents
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 min­utes
Cook Time 45 min­utes
Serv­ings
peo­ple
Ingre­di­ents
bouillabaisse
Instruc­tions
  1. Cut the fish in lit­tle pieces. Mar­i­nate the fish by plac­ing it in a ziploc bag along with 0.5g of saf­fron and 2 table­spoons of olive oil. Set aside in the fridge.
    marinating fish for bouillabaisse
  2. Cut the toma­toes in lit­tle pieces. Mince the gar­lic and onion, if not already minced. In a dutch oven (cocotte), pour 7 table­spoons of olive oil, and add the toma­to pieces, the minced onion, the minced gar­lic, and the remain­der of the saf­fron (0.5g). Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Cov­er, and let the toma­toes “melt” (see pic­ture.)
  3. Add the white wine, the water, the rose­mary, the thyme and the bay leaves. Cov­er, and let it sim­mer for 30 min­utes.
    stew without the fish for bouillabaisse
  4. Fil­ter the soup through a strain­er so as to remove the branch­es of herbs/hard parts of the toma­toes from the broth. Pour the fil­tered broth back into the dutch oven (cocotte). Take the fish out of the ziploc bag and place it in the soup. Add the seafood (make sure you rinse it first). Cov­er, and cook the soup on high heat for 10–15 min­utes (until the fish is ful­ly cooked). Then, quick­ly take it off from the heat (this is to accom­plish the bouil­la-baisse effect). Let it cool down a tiny bit. Serve warm.
    bouillabaisse
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In Mar­seille, Bouil­l­abaisse is typ­i­cal­ly served with slices of bread and rouille.

Bon Appétit!

French Mom

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Easy Bouil­l­abaisse using US ingre­di­ents
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